Vuosaari’s new fairway will be ready by Christmas
Altough Vuosaari’s new 13-metre fairway has already been completed, the approach to the harbour is still being widened.
The 30-kilometre fairway will be in use by the end of the year as planned.
The fairway’s construction costs will come in well below budget. At the tendering stage, it became apparent that the tenders were significantly lower than budgeted, and the eventual costs totalled EUR 10 million less than estimated.
“This has been a really long project. We began setting the project in motion back in 2013 with what is now the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency. After a licensing and appeal process that took seven years, we were able to start construction in June 2020. These kinds of projects require long-term planning and a really broad perspective,” says Jukka Kallio, Vice President, Cargo at the Port of Helsinki.
Kallio says that future solutions will depend on whether ships will continue to increase in size or whether stricter environmental regulations will in any way affect the vessels that call at Vuosaari.
“This job requires you to look far into the future. The new ships that are now under construction are getting bigger all the time, which is why we needed a deeper fairway.”
Current battery technology does not enable electricity to be used as the main power source for ships, except on short routes. The batteries required to power a ship would be so large and heavy that there would no longer be any capacity left for cargo.
“We have yet to see what impact other fuel alternatives will have on vessel sizes, and what these changes would require from ports. For example, will we one day see an autonomous ship carrying 50–100 containers between Helsinki and Tallinn? Such a small container ship could even run on electricity,” says Kallio.